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An Interview With: Noah Rubin

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Q. What did you learn about yourself out there today?

NOAH RUBIN: I learned that I can definitely compete with these guys at the best level, definitely things to learn. Fitness is one, I mean, nerves came into play a little bit also. So fitness can definitely be at a higher level, but I can playing with these guys on any given day. We'll see how I improve.

Q. Do you think that's the reason for the bagel in the third set? You just didn't have enough gas?

NOAH RUBIN: I mean, yeah, gas was definitely an issue. It didn't help that nerves were there, also. So there were definitely points throughout the whole match I could have capitalized on and I didn't. But, I mean, it's my first slam, so we'll see how it goes.

Q. Did you feel like you were sort of getting into it in the second set and sort of suffered that second break?

NOAH RUBIN: Yeah, I mean, the first set down two breaks quickly. Got one of them back. If I stayed on serve throughout the whole first set, who knows what would have happened. And the pressure was on him. So a lot of things could have changed. If I kept the momentum going, I probably would have had more opportunities but just didn't capitalize on it.

Q. You played the juniors here and now you played the main draw and everything. Can you talk a little bit about the difference? Is there an atmosphere difference, as well?

NOAH RUBIN: It's completely different sports. The pros, they are doing it for a living. Been out here for so long. The experience is different level. Fitness is at a different level. So it's definitely something to get used to. I got my first slam out of the way at a younger age, I mean, so hopefully more opportunities in the future. You know, definitely a little bit disappointed, but also know that I could play with these guys.

Q. What is your first memory of the US Open as a little kid?

NOAH RUBIN: I was taken here by my parents at a very young age. I can't tell you where it started, but it's my backyard. I pass it every day on the way to practice. So this is my home.

Q. College coach from Wake Forest was watching you today. Talk about your excitement, about starting at Wake, and what you're expecting to get out of college and tennis but also socially and academically?

NOAH RUBIN: I mean, I'm going to school, going to college to get in the best physical condition and to mature as a person and a tennis player. I think Tony can do that for me with the staff that he has. It showed today, and I definitely think I can improve, and I definitely think Tony with the people who work at Wake Forest can definitely help that out. Whatever else comes along with that, that would be great. But that's why we go there, so.

Q. What was your impression? I know you were there last week to play the tournament. Does it seem like a place you can be comfortable living?

NOAH RUBIN: Yeah. I mean, I don't want to get too comfortable. I'm trying to do what's best for my tennis, but I'm going to enjoy myself and do everything it takes to raise my level and just hopefully compete as a pro consistently soon.

Q. What classes are you taking, Noah?

NOAH RUBIN: I'm taking art history, writing, astrology... Astronomy, sorry. And intro to Judaism.

Q. In your writing class, okay, it's our first day. You have to write an essay on what I did this summer. How would you start it?

NOAH RUBIN: I played a little tennis recreationally and took it from there (smiling).

Q. How did you do? How would you assess how you played?

NOAH RUBIN: How do I assess my play today?

Q. No.

NOAH RUBIN: Oh, just the writing? I think it went okay.

Q. When I saw you at CitiField last month we talked about make sure you had Interview Room 1. That's an honor. It's a bit of an honor to have this. I'd say the USTA has faith in your abilities.

NOAH RUBIN: I'm just trying to show everybody I can compete at this level and try to make people proud at the same time. It's definitely -- I'm not sure if everybody's first experience went just like me, but I'm just getting used to the atmosphere, getting used to being out there with the top players in the world. It's nice to know that I belong here and I'm not just taking a vacation here just seeing what it's like and going back. That I deserve to be here and work to stay here.

Q. Changing rules with NCAA... Has that changed now?

NOAH RUBIN: What's your question?

Q. At Wake Forest, are you allowed to play on the tennis team there?

NOAH RUBIN: Yeah, yeah. We will be playing there while also playing professional tournaments.

Q. This is a pretty incredible place. The 50 weeks a year when no one is here, so to speak, huge buildings, a lot of history in the air. What's it like to be here? What goes through your mind when you're walking just out there and there are six people around you? Louis and Ashe Stadium and so forth?

NOAH RUBIN: It's almost motivation to get to that point where you have the thousands of people watching you. It just shows what kind of history has been here in the past, what players have gone through this area, and you just want to get to there and you want to do everything it takes to get to be where they are, to accomplish what they have done. A lot of things have gone through their careers to get to where they are now, and this is just step 1.

Q. Player that most inspires you?

NOAH RUBIN: Player that most inspires me? Besides the top 3 or 4, guys like Fed and Nadal and Djokovic, yeah, Ferrer, given somewhat similar stature, but definitely improvements there to get to his level. But, you know, we'll see where I can be in a couple of years.

Q. Can you estimate how many people in the crowd have some relationship to you today? Did that make you a little nervous or not at all?

NOAH RUBIN: You know, it was just being out there probably that I had some nerves. It's the US Open. Nothing else. The people out there are the people out there. Just being in the US Open is what gave me nerves. Just learn and move on.

Q. How many do you think you knew out there?

NOAH RUBIN: Too many (laughter).

Q. Can't put a number on it?

NOAH RUBIN: No, I can't.

Q. Have you ever had a conversation with Johnny Mack? He went to college for a year. Have you ever had the conversation about just what that can do for you in terms of, you know, just being on a college campus, playing that level of tennis?

NOAH RUBIN: Obviously he thought college was the best route for me. I mean, it's different times now. It's just a more physical game; different aspects to play into it; don't have the too many 18 years old coming up. It's more rare that there are outliers. He thought that was definitely the best path. We haven't spoken specifically about what it's going to be like at school yet, but just felt consulting with my team and just where I was in my game, I thought it was going to be the best route for me to go for a year or two or whatever to Wake Forest.

Q. Your success this summer, and then at Wimbledon, Kyrgios at 19. Did you ever have a pause for thought sometime during the summer like, well, maybe, you know...

NOAH RUBIN: You know, longevity is a large thing in this game now. You have the 30 year olds playing for 10 years, 12 years. I mean, obviously Kyrgios is a great talent and he did something that not too many people could do at that age. But I think for me, to have my career stretch for a long period of time, I believe this is the best route.

Q. What was it like having the crowd behind you like that?

NOAH RUBIN: Yeah, it was nice. Pumps me up every once in a while, but I'm still out there just to give it all. Nothing is going to change whether it is one person or a thousand people I know.

Q. Have you made the decision whether you're going to play the juniors here this year?

NOAH RUBIN: I will not be playing the juniors here.

Q. When did you come to that?

NOAH RUBIN: About a week ago. It's just a lot of school missed. I mean, it would be nice to end my career on a good note, anyway, my junior career, so definitely better things to look forward to.

Q. How many classes would you end up missing?

NOAH RUBIN: Just one week of school.

Q. So you'll go as soon as the doubles is over?

NOAH RUBIN: Yes.

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